GW may decentralize Career Center

Students seeking career advice may soon be able to receive targeted assistance from their individual schools, in an effort to help students land jobs in a tough economy.

Students seeking job advice currently go to a centralized Career Center for help with resumes and interview techniques, among other services. The new model, if adopted, will likely decentralize that process, and provide students resources that directly relate to their professional fields of study.

“In a decentralized approach, each school has their own career center, reporting to the dean of the school,” said Murat Tarimcilar, vice dean of programs and education in the School of Business. “Each school would hire its own staff.”

The idea to decentralize career services sprung from the Career Services Task Force.

The task force will present its findings – which point to a decentralized career services approach – to the president and the provost next month.

“The goal is to establish a distinguished, University-wide career culture by utilizing academic and co-curricular offerings,” Tarimcilar said.

The new model is based on the business school, which has been operating its own career center for 3 years.

“Our career center works with both our undergraduate and graduate students to prepare them for a professional career,” Tarimcilar said. “Our student satisfaction has been improving steadily in the last 3 years, which coincides with the date we decided to invest significant resources in our career services and integrated the career education to our curriculum.”

Tarimcilar said the focus of the business school career center is to set up relations with corporations that target students in the business school, something the University-wide task force hopes to do with a number of corporations in various fields of study.

The task force is also recommending the incorporation of alumni relations as a way to connect current students with job opportunities from GW graduates.

“Alumni will be informed about the services in a more effective way, and it will be easier for them to access the offerings,” Tarimcilar said. “The entire culture will make [students] think about their careers earlier in their school years and train them to be ready for it in an effective way.”

Tarimcilar said it is too early into the recommendation process to estimate the costs of forming individual career centers and the future role of the current Career Center under such a model.

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